Tech is a fast-paced and highly-complex industry. The speed at which new innovations in technology and software emerge makes legal questions around intellectual property difficult to grapple with. And that’s why working with an expert software patent lawyer is so important.
What is a Software Patent?
A software patent is a type of intellectual property. Software patents relate to things such as computer programs, the effect of a program on computer performance, a specific algorithm, or software. By registering a patent over a software invention, you gain a 20 year right or ‘monopoly’ to the use of that invention.
Software patents are the root of legal controversy and different jurisdictions approach this type of intellectual property in different ways. It is for this reason that patenting computer software is not that straightforward.
In the UK, the IPO (Intellectual Property Office) takes a ‘restrictive approach’ to software and business method patents, when compared to Europe, for example. There is a four-step test which arises from the Aerotel v Telco and Macrossan cases which consists of:
- Interpreting the patent claim
- Identifying the actual ‘technical’ contribution
- Considering whether the contribution falls solely within the excluded subject matter
- Checking whether the contribution is technical in nature
What Can our Software Patent Lawyers Do for You?
Instructing a specialised software patent lawyer is extremely important for navigating the complexities of the legal landscape. Our expert lawyers will support you in every step of applying for a patent and beyond, by:
- Deliver pragmatic & strategic legal advice informed by an intimate understanding of the industry.
- Keeping up to date with relevant changes in the law. Given that legislation in this area is constantly changing and adapting to align with the needs and changes of the market, it’s vital to keep your finger on the pulse.
- Carry out patent research. This involves carrying out risk assessments by looking at competitors’ patents and searching for existing or similar patents that may obstruct your application.
- Patent your computer software. We can prepare and file your patent application.
- Represent your interests. If a conflict should arise or you need legal advice when negotiating with a competitor, our lawyers will represent your best interests.
What to Look for in a Software Patent Lawyer
1. In-depth & specific industry knowledge
It is absolutely essential to seek legal advice from a software patent lawyer that has extensive and in-depth knowledge of your specific sector. This extends to understanding the lay of the land in business, legal and technical terms. This industry expertise will help your lawyer to guide you pragmatically with your specific context in mind.
2. Experience in software IP law
Given the unique nature of software patents and the tech industry at large, instructing a lawyer who feels comfortable working within these parameters is a must.
3. Transparent pricing
Transparent fee structures that allow you to access first-class legal services at a fair price is essential.
4. Global coverage
Finally, given that patents are jurisdiction-specific, working with a law firm that provides global coverage and the ability to represent you internationally is advisable.
How We Can Help You with Your Software Patent
When you’ve innovated a unique software or algorithm, you need to protect your invention. When it comes to registering a software patent and protecting your interests, it’s definitely worth working with an expert lawyer who knows exactly what they’re doing. Our IP lawyers bring extensive legal and industry-specific experience on a global scale. This means they can represent your best interests across the world. Get in touch to find out how we can help.